SHARE
COPY LINK

APPLE

Apple loses bid to ban protests by French tax campaign group

A French court on Friday threw out a complaint by Apple demanding a ban on protests at its stores by the tax campaign group Attac.

Apple loses bid to ban protests by French tax campaign group
Attac stages a protest against alleged tax evasion by Apple at an Apple store in Paris in December 2017. Photo: AFP

Attac had staged a sit-in at Apple's flagship Paris store on December 2nd, blocking access for several hours in protest at what they claimed was “massive tax evasion” by the US tech giant.

Apple said the demonstration put customers' and employees' safety at risk and sought a court order barring the activists from further protests inside its stores.

Attac had previously held protests at stores in Paris and Aix-en-Provence in November, demanding Apple pay billions of euros which the EU says it owes in back taxes.

But a Paris court dismissed Apple's claim that there was a risk of “imminent damage” from further protests, so long as these were peaceful and did not block access to the store.

It noted Apple had not reported any damage from the peaceful Paris protest in December.

Attac, which branded the lawsuit an assault on the right to protest, hailed the ruling in its favour.

“The court has recognised the legitimacy of our actions and went as far as to say we behaved in the general interest,” said its spokesman Raphael Pradeau.

He added the group has no plans to stop protesting against the company.

Apple did not immediately respond to requests to comment.

In 2016, the EU said Apple owed $14.5 billion in back taxes after it negotiated highly favourable tax arrangements with the Irish government.

The tech giant also came under fire late last year when leaked financial documents known as the Paradise Papers showed it shifted tens of billion of dollars between tax havens to minimise taxes.

Last month the company announced it would pay $38 billion (31 billion euros) on profits repatriated from overseas as it boosts investments in the United States.

Apple, which claims to be the largest US taxpayer, is also one of the biggest beneficiaries of a tax-lowering bill passed by the US Congress in December.

READ ALSO: David vs Goliath: The tiny French consumer group taking on Apple

APPLE

‘Apple, pay your taxes!’: Protest greets US tech giant’s Champs-Élysées launch

The launch of an Apple store on the Champs Elysees in Paris was greeted Sunday by a protest against the US multinational's controversial fiscal practices.

'Apple, pay your taxes!': Protest greets US tech giant's Champs-Élysées launch
Demonstrators during the opening of a new Apple store on the Champs Elysees. Photo: AFP
Activists from the tax campaign group Attac gathered on the celebrated boulevard, wearing coloured wigs and party hats, throwing confetti and chanting: “Apple, pay your taxes!”
   
The group had staged a sit-in at Apple's flagship Paris store in December 2017, and in February a French court declined to approve a ban on such actions following a request by the US computer giant.
   
“We have come to celebrate in our own way the inauguration of Apple's Champs Elysees store, to remind people that Apple is one of the biggest tax evaders in the world,” Attac spokeswoman Aurelie Trouve told AFP at the protest, which featured a brass band.
   
Apple, the first US company to attain one trillion dollars in market capitalisation, grew in part owing “to the fact that it extorts billions of euros from citizens, notably European and French, through fiscal evasion of its profits, first in Ireland and now in Jersey,” the spokeswoman said.
   
Meanwhile security personnel allowed customers to enter the new store to a boisterous welcome by Apple employees.
   
Attac — the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Citizens Action — criticises French President Emmanuel Macron for failing to tackle multinational tax practices.
   
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has pushed for a Europe-wide tax policy on computer giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple but Ireland, which attracts such companies, is opposed while EU heavyweight Germany has voiced only lukewarm support for the French initiative.
SHOW COMMENTS